Sears Builds on Success of Softer Side Advertising Campaign: New Creative Asks Customers to 'Take Another Look'

Sep 11, 1998, 01:00 ET from Sears, Roebuck and Co.

    HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears, Roebuck and Co.
 (NYSE:   S) today introduced new creative for its successful "Softer Side of
 Sears" advertising campaign that launched the company's turnaround by
 highlighting its renewed focus on women's apparel.  The new version of the
 Softer Side campaign, which includes print and broadcast ads, invites
 customers to "Take Another Look" at the fashions available at Sears.
     Departing from the puns that played Sears reputation for quality hardlines
 against its revitalized apparel offerings ("I went in for a DieHard and found
 something drop dead."), the new ads juxtapose vintage-like footage of women in
 old, outdated fashions with today's sleek styles.  The play on words and
 images, "Whatever happened to those house dresses, my dear?  Ooh, thank
 heavens they've changed through the years...," builds on the humor,
 playfulness and femininity expressed in the first Softer Side ads.
     "The Softer Side of Sears campaign achieves our key marketing objectives
 -- it changes customers' perception of Sears, drives traffic into the stores,
 and demonstrates Sears commitment to offering customers stylish and relevant
 women's apparel," said Arthur C. Martinez, chairman and chief executive
 officer of Sears.  "Now the challenge is to build greater loyalty with our
 customer and reinforce Sears position as a destination place for apparel that
 fits her lifestyle."
     Reinforcing Sears commitment to serving its primary customer -- a woman
 age 25 to 54 with a moderate household income, family and home -- this
 campaign builds upon and personalizes Sears invitation to "Come See the Softer
 Side of Sears" by illustrating that Sears has more than fashionable apparel --
 it has the right apparel for her.
     Developed by Young & Rubicam New York, creators of the original Softer
 Side campaign, the new ads -- three 30 second spots -- will premiere during
 the Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 13.  The first print ads will appear in
 October issues of women's general interest publications and fashion magazines.
     "Our customers have told us they identify with 'The Softer Side of Sears'
 as a brand in itself -- one they trust for quality and strong values," said
 John H. Costello, senior executive vice president of marketing at Sears.  "By
 enticing customers to take another look, we're reenergizing the message that
 Sears is constantly changing, always updating, and continuing to surprise
 the customer."
     The new advertising enables Sears to maximize the impact of the Softer
 Side success and demonstrate the company's ongoing efforts to reinvent and
 transform its apparel program to stay relevant with the customer.  During the
 last five years, Sears has aggressively pursued strong national brands and
 also has developed private apparel brands that differentiate Sears from
 its competitors.  Since turning its focus to apparel, Sears has signed on
 national brands such as Vanity Fair, Trifari, Sag Harbor, and Leslie Fay.  New
 private brands that have driven significant incremental sales for the company
 include Classic Elements casual wear, Apostrophe and Laura Scott career wear
 and Crossroads casual apparel.  In addition, Sears began offering several
 national brands sold exclusively at Sears, including First Issue, a Liz
 Claiborne company, a line of updated career wear for women; and Circle of
 Beauty cosmetics.
     Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and
 automotive products and related services.  More information about Sears is
 available at the company's website at

SOURCE Sears, Roebuck and Co.